Watch Out for This Common Social Security Scam

Filed under: Retirement

The phone rings, and you answer it. It’s a representative from Social Security, calling to inform you of possible illegal activity originating from your file. Due to these suspicions, the Administration is suspending your payments, or freezing your bank account. They direct you to call another number to provide information that will help them clear up the matter.

You call the other number, and provide the requested information. A few weeks later you come to the horrifying revelation that your bank account has been drained, or your identity stolen. You might now owe thousands of dollars, thanks to debt racked up in your name. What happened?

Unfortunately, it appears you’ve fallen for a common Social Security scam. The original call from the “concerned but helpful representative” actually came from a scam artist, and you responded exactly the way they hoped you would. You provided information such as your Social Security number, your date of birth, bank account numbers, and possibly more. That information was used to hack your bank account, or obtain credit cards and loans in your name. This damage is difficult to undo.

It’s understandable that you might fall for such a scheme. The threat of losing your Social Security benefits, or of frozen assets, is indeed alarming. But here’s something you need to know: Social Security will never call you about a problem like this. Rarely is there ever suspicion of “illegal activity” related to someone’s Social Security benefits, but if there were, the Administration would send you a letter in the mail. In fact, Social Security is unlikely to ever call you at all, unless you have recently initiated communication with them.

If you do receive one of these suspicious phone calls, do not give out (or even “verify”) any information at all. Hang up the phone immediately. Then call Social Security’s fraud hotline number at 1-800, 269-0271.

Also remember that this scam can operate via email, too. Social Security will never email you, asking for personal information. If you receive such an email, delete it immediately. Do not follow any links in the email, and report it to Social Security using the phone number above.

If you ever feel concerned about your benefits, remember that you can initiate communication with Social Security yourself. That way you know who is on the phone, and that the information you discuss is safe.

If you would like more information or have specific questions, please contact us using the following form. We would be happy to assist you.

This information has been provided by a licensed insurance professional and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting insurance professional. The statements and opinions expressed are those of the author and are subject to change at any time. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, presenting the insurance professional makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. This material has been prepared for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, accounting, legal, tax, trust and estate, or investment advice. Infinite Wealth Advisors is not an investment advisory firm.  Investment Advisory Services provided by NAMCOA® – Naples Asset Management Company®, LLC, a federally registered investment advisor, website: .